Patrol officers from the Champaign Police Department and University of Illinois Police Department have begun extra enforcement of vehicles illegally parked in the middle of the roadway.
The enforcement effort is a response to the increased frequency of vehicles using center turn lanes or the middle of the roadway as a quick parking option. The issue has been particularly visible on Green Street in the Campustown area, although officers will be keeping an eye out for violators throughout the city.
By Illinois state law, it is illegal to stop a vehicle in a traffic lane for any reason other than an accident or emergency. This illegal roadway use impedes the flow of traffic, creates potential for pedestrian and motor vehicle accidents, and slows emergency responders like police, fire and ambulances when responding to 911 calls or other urgent situations.
“We’re not seeking to go out and write a number of tickets, but do intend to use this enforcement to educate and seek voluntary compliance from drivers. Tickets however are an enforcement tool that we’ll use if we see the problem continuing,” said Champaign Police Lieutenant Mark Vogelzang.
Violators may receive a $120 ticket for improper parking in the roadway, and unattended vehicles may be towed at the owner’s expense. Ample metered parking is available on Campustown streets, including Fourth, Fifth, Sixth and Wright streets immediately adjacent to Green Street. There are also numerous parking options available throughout the Champaign – Urbana area.
Delivery and car transportation drivers looking to pick-up/drop-off passengers or items are encouraged to use loading zones, metered parking spaces, side streets with available curb access, or the public driveways/alleyways adjacent to most large apartment complexes. The brief use must be for loading/unloading and consistent with standard rules of the road.
“We are trying to remind people who park in the roadway as a convenience that it was never legal in the first place, and it is a safety hazard for everyone involved,” said U. of I. Police Officer Tyrel Ledbetter. “That includes the drivers and people that call 911 and rely on emergency responders to be able to get to them quickly.”
Please see the following links for parking maps, including metered parking, parking garages, and additional parking details for Champaign, Urbana and Campus: